Do you ever notice how quickly time flies when you have your head down, nose to the proverbial grindstone, just grinding away and not really noticing the hours turning to days, to weeks and to months. I can hardly believe that it has already been 7 months that I’ve been a missionary and 5 months that I’ve been here in the Philippines. Although I admit, I feel about as tired as I ever have felt, it just feels like I’ve only been here maybe 3 months, even though when I think of all that I’ve learned, seen and done, clearly much more time has passed.
I’ve recently become grateful to the Universal Church’s method of counting time. It has become the way that I register the passing weeks: Epiphany Sunday, 1st Sunday after Epiphany, 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, 3rd Sunday….etc. This sheds light on a facet of human time keeping that reflects the unpredictability of life, our fragile lives. We measure time in terms of what has come before, or the past, rather than what is now, and what is coming. Is it because we feel safer counting what we had? I know the popular saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” A saying that is often spoken and applied to a wide variety of subjects. I think it is meant to curb optimism and theoretical plans based on facts that may as of yet be untrue and unfounded. For the logician, for the scientist, -the historian the mathematician the sociologist and even the psychologist, quantitative analysis of the facts is of the utmost importance to determining plausible conclusions.
“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” Even this saying belies the logical jumps that must be made before counting the chickens. The farmer cannot count her eggs until after they have hatched, for is an egg that fails to hatch truly an egg? So a farmer cannot accurately count her chicks until after they have grown to be chickens and a farmer cannot count her chickens until she has determined what their fate in life is to be, determining how long their lives will be.
Even in our homes today we are all party to looking backward in time to see far how we’ve come. As Christians, we should instead look forward to see how far we’ve yet to go. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to look backward…that would be impossible. Who each of us is today is a reflection of the road we’ve traveled. The past will always be with us. I just think that we should look toward to future and count more chickens before they hatch, because that’s what faith is. Counting chickens before they hatch.
here’s a photo I took on a boat out in the Sarangani bay. Looking ahead and appreciating the weather and the beauty of the boat on the water and the waves.